Greens MP concerned over government's new laws cracking down on legitimate protest
23 September 2019
Greens MP Michael Berkman:
“The Premier has provided zero evidence for the incredibly serious claims she made in Parliament last month.
“The Premier used this briefing to justify introducing new criminal offences and expanding police powers. That’s not something that should be done without an incredibly good reason, but she can’t even give us one.
“I was really concerned by what she was describing, which is why I requested a briefing from the Police Commissioner so I could get the facts myself.
“I still haven’t been able to get that briefing.
“If the government is no longer required to provide any factual basis for legislation we’re in trouble – particularly in a State where they can easily pass laws through our single house of Parliament.
“Police have never charged a climate change protester in Queensland with an offence alleging they had set a trap or intended to cause injury to others.
“Non-violence is a core principle of almost every activist organisation - it just wouldn’t make any sense for a climate protester to try to hurt emergency officers or anyone else.
“These laws are designed to vilify a huge range of everyday people frustrated with the major parties’ inaction on climate change.
“We know this from the 30,000-strong turnout to Friday’s Brisbane climate strike, where I saw everyone from doctors and teachers, unionists and students, to faith leaders, parents and grandparents .
“Labor is just fear mongering to distract from their hypocrisy on climate change and obscure the fact that they are too weak to actually listen to the community’s reasonable demands.”